The Eurosystem task force, bringing together experts from the ECB and 19 national central banks of the euro area, reported that an increased demand for electronic payments in the euro area could require a European risk-free digital means of payment.
Issues that might provoke the issuance of a digital euro include a significant decline in the use of cash as a means of payment and the launch of a global private currency, such as facebook’s Libra, that might raise regulatory concerns and pose risks for financial stability.
[ECB president:] “Europeans are increasingly turning to digital in the ways they spend, save and invest. Our role is to secure trust in money. This means making sure the euro is fit for the digital age. We should be prepared to issue a digital euro, should the need arise.”
The public consultation will be launched on 12 October, but experimentation on the foundations for a euro-wide digital currency will start in earnest, without prejudicing the final outcome of the talks.